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Digital opens up greater reach for newsbrands

The number of people who read newspapers has always been vast (up to 30 million a week in 2013, according to NRS). However, as people’s behaviour has changed and they spend more time on digital devices (e.g. mobile increasing from 15 seconds per day in 2010 to nearly two minutes today, according to eMarketer), the reach of newsbrands has catapulted as well as the relationship the people have.

Newsbrands are now easy access for all

It was predicted that alternative news such as Sky News, Huffington Post, Facebook and Twitter would replace newsbrands. On the contrary. within the commercial market newsbrands have remained the most popular source of news – 71% of adults favour it over other channels, versus just 24% for other news websites, according to Newsworks’ new research Truly Madly Deeply.

In fact, new digital platforms have incrementally grown the scale of newsbrands. Reach alone has increased from 67% of UK adults in 2003 to 81% in 2013 and more adults now read a newsbrand than visit Google each month – 41.6 million vs 38.7 million (NRS PADD). Given that these figures exclude the fast-growing tablet and mobile editions, the true figure will actually be much bigger.

The type of relationship has also changed with a third of users now spending more time reading newsbrands since getting a tablet (Newsworks TAP Nov 12). The average time spent reading newsbrands online has also increased, up 37% in the last two years (IPA TouchPoints).

In addition, those that access their favourite newsbrands across both print and digital platforms are more positive about their relationship with their favourite title than those who read print-only, citing “it feels relevant to me” 70% vs 52%; “makes me feel involved” 62% vs 46%; and “trust” 62% vs 46% (Truly Madly Deeply).

Business effect – building trusted brands

Newsbrands have not only remained dominant for news consumption in the face of digital competition, but the new platforms have also increased reach, engagement and above all reader relationships. This has led to huge benefits for advertisers using these brands; access to the scale and engagement levels are the most obvious, but it is the ‘brand rub effect’ which can be seen from the improved reader relationships that hold particular value.

There are clear uplifts in a brand image transferred from the newsbrand to the advertiser brand. For example, among those newsbrand readers who feel their newsbrand is ‘trustworthy’, there was 10% uplift in those thinking the advertiser brand was ‘trustworthy’. A similar uplift was seen for ‘intelligent’ (10%), while there were even greater uplifts for ‘fun’ (18%) and ‘relevant’ (19%) (Truly Madly Deeply).

This demonstrates the influential power of newsbrands and how they can unlock potential growth for brands who need to borrow a positive brand image. Those looking to launch new products, low interest brands (FMCG) or high risk (Finance, Utilities) could do especially well in this space.

Katie Tompsett, Press Account Director, Vizeum UK

This article was originally published on the Newsworks website